Although this blog is posted after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it was written before then. All the info is relevant to schools and churches. Please guard well what God loves.
Every week there is a news report of violence in churches or church-related facilities (camps, retreat centers, etc.). A lot of them end in violence and death.
About 20 years ago shootings in schools raised awareness that schools were no longer the safe places that everyone felt them to be. Those acts of violence burst the bubble that schools and churches were places of peace and serenity. Both bubbles are now shattered. There is no truly safe public place (except maybe a fire or police station).
For churches and staffs struggling to educate people as to why safety cameras, check-in points, child safety measures, and other preventive actions are needed, the news has way too many stories. Use these stories to inform and show people why a well thought-out, coordinated plan is needed and helpful (and even attractive to young parents). Never use news of church violence to alarm or scare people - that is not helpful at all.
Carl Chinn (www.carlchinn.com) has collected every news article of church related violence since 1999. It is a wealth of information - Carl is doing all of us a great service. I've never met Carl and I've only emailed him once - but his heart is in helping churches be informed about what is happening. Then, what churches do with that information is up to them but hopefully they'll take positive action to ensure their houses of worship are also sanctuaries.
If you want more information, contact Carl - I'm sure he'll help you.